Category Archives: News

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Lavender infused Verjus!

VerjusLaunchJust released – VERJUS made from Spoiled Dog Winery’s estate Pinot Noir grapes (unfermented) infused with Lavender Wind Farm’s lavender.  A culinary delight with many uses, especially in dressings and sauces.  Verjus derives from the French term “vert  jus”, literally “green juice” and is pressed from semi-ripened high-acid low sugar wine grapes winemakers thin from the vines just before picking the grapes for wine.  Because Verjus is made from wine grapes and shares the same acid-base as wine, it is an elegant and delicate alternative to vinegar and lemon.  It is, therefore, “wine-friendly” and the secret of wine country and classically-trained chefs.

The Verjus is infused with lavender from Lavender Wind Farm.  The hint of lavender adds complexity by enhancing the flavors and also contributes to its lovely color.  This Verjus is a joint product made by two Whidbey Island businesses:  Spoiled Dog Winery and Lavender Wind Farm.  Their logos are prominently displayed on the label.  Karen Krug of Spoiled Dog Winery wanted to do something with grapes which weren’t ripe enough to make their premier wines and weren’t wasted.  Verjus was the answer – the French have known about it for years!  Karen previously talked to Sarah at Lavender Wind about infusing her lavender into their wine, however Sarah would not be able to sell the end product unless she had a liquor license.  Now there was an answer – VERJUS, because it is not fermented, a liquor license is not required to sell it, AND it is infused with Sarah’s lavender. A Whidbey Island Grown product  from two Whidbey Island businesses.

Verjus’ natural flavor enhances cooking by adding richness and complexity.  It pairs famously with wines as a salad dressing, by itself or as a simple dressing blended with olive oil.  See some recipe ideas such as Buttermilk-Verjus Salad Dressing; Arugula and Orange Verjus Salad; Roast Pork, Orange, Beet and Verjus Salad, or my favorite: Crabmeat salad with Nectarine, Verjus and Red Onion.

Use its sweet tart flavor to enhance sauces or heighten the flavor of any fish, chicken, game, red meat or vegetable dishes.  Some recipe ideas are Crispy Salmon, Spring Vegetables & Verjus Sauce; Braised Chicken with Grapes, Olives and Verjus; Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks in Verjus or Salmon Poached in Verjus; Honey-Roasted Pear Salad with Thyme Verjus Dressing.

It also makes a refreshing drink with much less sugar than other fruit juices.  Check out recipes for  Verjus Martini; Verjus Cocktail, Verjus Mojitos or experiment with it substituting Verjus for sweet-sour juices (lime juices).  A definite receipt to try is Verjus Mint-Sorbet for those hot summer days!

You can buy this Verjus at Spoiled Dog Winery, 5881 Maxwelton Rd, Langley or Lavender Wind Farm, 15 Coveland Street, Coupeville. Or get it online.

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Lip Balm!

Aurora with Roses

Aurora with Roses

Aurora has led the team to create our newest product…. Bee Sweet to Your Lips, Lavender Vanilla Lip Balm.

In case you don’t know, it takes a lot to create a new product. We first research basic recipes, then we gather information about oils and their effects on the body. Then we develop a mixture that, when it hardens, will provide both smooth roll on and feeling on the lips as well as stay firm when it’s been in a pocket during the day.

I think we’ve nailed it this time.LipBalmVanillaLavWeb


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A little slide show of our farm and new shop. Enjoy!

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Benefit for Whidbey Air (

Did you know Whidbey Island has its own radio station? One that started years ago, and for the first few years The Shifty Sailors let them play their music while they got underway. It’s been a long journey, including a decision to release the air waves licensing and become an internet-only station. That decision has allowed the all-volunteer station to focus on building a variety of content that has something for almost everyone.

Harry Anderson and Gwen Samuelson riffing on air.

So, why are you reading about this on Lavender Wind’s website? We decided to help the station with its ever-present funding struggles by donating 10% of GROSS sales on the same day each month. So, if you come to shop on the 24th of the month, you’ll be helping yourself to wonderful items as well as helping the radio station keep on providing the amazing shows they have.

If you want to contribute directly to the station, please do so! We all benefit from sharing.

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Grand Opening of Lavender Wind

Inside new shop

In our new Gift shop and Manufacturing/Kitchen facility

Friday, Nov. 16, 2012
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Lavender Wind
15 Coveland St.
PO Box 284
Coupeville, WA 98239

toll free 877.242.7716

House is ready outside
House is ready outside

Stop by to congratulate owner Sarah Richards and the staff of Lavender Wind on the official Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new retail shop and manufacturing facility located in a 1916 craftsman home in heart of historic Coupeville. After 10 months of renovations inside and out of this cute house, we are finally ready! If you are in the area, join us for refreshments and take a tour of the beautifully renovated home and enjoy the tastes and scents of lavender!

If you are out of the area we will send you hugs and kisses and greet you when you come to visit.

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The road to our new shop

A year ago we were working on the agreement to purchase our new building in Coupeville, and since then a lot has happened. Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, we opened for business in our beautiful new shop. There is still more to be finished, but the whole staff is delighted to be working in the new space. We thought you might like to see our retrospective on the project….

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Stripping Lavender

Harvesting lavender is a smelly job! In the early years when the farm was smaller I used to go to three farmers markets a week. One of the vendors greeted me every Saturday morning with “Hey! Are you back again with those stinky weeds?” I loved that guy, he made me laugh and brought that kind of joy to the rest of the market. In those days I’d pick with clippers, or maybe one sickle, to get enough lavender to have fresh bunches at the market. Then I’d go home and work on taking the small amount of dried lavender that I’d dried off the stem. Bunch by bunch, banging it on the sides of a clean trash can. Over the years I trained other people to do the same, taking the bud off the stem by hand.

Early on, I saw a “stripper” that was made in Australia that used brushes to take off the lavender and it fell into a bag that they suspended below the unit with brushes. It was a wonderful machine, with a hefty price tag. But, by the time I was ready to buy one, the company that had made them had gone out of business. Back to square one, I asked other lavender growers and many of them said “Oh yes, I’ve got one and I’ll be making more for sale.” After several years of waiting for this to materialize, I got lucky. No, one of them didn’t ever get one for sale (with the exception of one, that I just heard about, but it’s too late for that). One of my friends here on the island turns out to be a machinist geek and likes figuring out how to make a machine solve a farming problem. This is the same guy who I turned to when I first bought the property to figure out what I could do with it.

Don delivers our new stripper

Norma tries out the new stripper while Sarah and Don grin like Cheshire cats.Photo courtesy of Linda Kast Meehan 


So, after about 4 months of thinking and figuring and sourcing parts, yesterday Don Meehan delivered a stripper to the farm. He got it to us earlier than he’d like – but he’ll take it back after we’re done this season to add a few cool features and paint it.

Today, Norma stripped two bins of Folgate bud in about 4 hours. A feat that would have taken her at least two days before this.

To my lavender colleagues who have bigger farms and are rolling your eyes at how slow we still are. I ask you to remember how it was when you were starting and didn’t have the funding for large equipment and huge buildings. We’re feeling pretty good right now.

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Celebrate Staff and Purple

Things are getting much busier on the farm. We have an international crew here who can speak the following languages: English (of course), French, Spanish, Italian, Triki (Oaxaca), German, Tagalog, Arabic, Moroccan, and Scots Gaelic. So, we just had to have an international feast with food from many of the countries represented by our staff members. What a great dinner that was! You get a hint from the pictures and the happy faces. If you come to the farm and you know any of the languages that our staff speak, I hope you ask for the person who speaks the language you know…. you’ll have lots of fun and probably will get more information than otherwise.

Meanwhile, the purple continues to develop. We should be able to start cutting the Folgate in a few days, though with cool cloudy weather it might be a bit further on. You can see Elisabetta weeding and Younes cultivating in the distance, beyond the purple. The farm has never been more beautiful than it is this year – come and enjoy.

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International Lavender Conference

Attending the International Lavender Conference this year was easy… It’s in our own backyard in Sequim, WA. Dr. Tim Upson (from Cambridge University Botanic Gardens), is the theme speaker and has been sharing his knowledge of the many different kinds of lavender in the world. The complexity of this one genus in the Lamiaceae family is amazing. Then, what human beings have been able to figure out to do with it, is equally amazing.

Sarah Bader, from Oregon, brought cases of her new lavender book. We’ll have it for you in our gift shop on Monday. It’s great to talk with so many lavender professionals!

Ann Harmon taught us about making hydrosols as a primary goal rather than a secondary one.

Our old friend, Kathy Gerht, has been inspiring all the cooks in the group. She agreed to come after our new shop opens and teach a cooking class or two – can’t wait!

Curtis Beus, received an award of a purple plaque and a life-time membership in the Sequim Lavender Growers Association.

The newly formed United States Lavender Growers Association gathered many new members at its launch this weekend.

There were a couple of vendors here that you’ll be glad we saw when their products get to our shop.


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Puget Sound Food Network Article

Sherrye Wyatt wrote a fabulous article about us in the Puget Sound Food Network newsletter. Here’s the intro:

Sarah Richards owns the only lavender farm on Whidbey Island.  With views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, she has built a popular destination for tourists.  She has also developed a full line of culinary and personal care products which are sold online, at her farm, and by local retailers. This summer, she is opening her first retail store and production facility in Coupeville.  She is a member of the Puget Sound Food Network, a board member of Northwest Agriculture Business Center, and was a founding member of the Whidbey Island Grown brand.  She is also a founding board member of the new United States Lavender Growers Association and will be attending the Sequim International Lavender Conference, April 27-30.

NABC’s Sherrye Wyatt caught up with Sarah earlier this month to find out more about the origins of her “accidental” business, the unique challenges of farming on an island and operating a business out of a historic house, and some of Sarah’s other passions.

 Read more…

Thank you Sherrye!



Sarah in the Field by Sherrye Wyatt

Sarah in the Field by Sherrye Wyatt



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